World Bulletin / News Desk
President Hashim Thaci, and Prime Minister Isa Mustafa paid tribute at the memorial complex in the village of Prekaz which commemorates Kosovo Liberation Army founder Adem Jashari, who was killed along with 50 other people when Yugoslav forces laid siege to his family home in the village in 1998.
“We remember all those people who sacrificed their lives for the state of Kosovo, those who gave their lives for freedom, especially the Jashari family, who we are honouring today - a family that sacrificed itself for the state of Kosovo and for what we are celebrating today, for laying the foundations of this state,” said Prime Minister Isa Mustafa.
One of the symbolic names of Kosovo's independence, Jashari's name is kept alive in the Mitrovitsa stadium as well as the airport in the capital of Pristina.
Adem and his brother Hamëz Jashari were members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a group of ethnic Albaninans that sought the independence of Kosovo from Yugoslavia. Adem Jashari was responsible for organizing the first armed political formation in Srbica (Skënderaj in Albanian) in 1991.
On 28 February 1998, a firefight erupted between Albanian militants and a Serbian police patrol in the small village of Likošane. Four Serbian policemen were killed and several were injured. The KLA resistance fighters, one of whom was Adem Jashari, escaped.
In retaliation, Serbian police killed thirteen people in a nearby household. Later that same day, Serbian policemen attacked the neighbouring village of Ćirez and subsequently killed 26 Albanians.
The Albanian fighers managed to escape and the police decided to move in on Adem Jashari and his family. They retreated to their home until on March 5th when Yugoslav policemen surrounded the group and ordered them to surrender, while urging all other persons to clear the premises.
According to the Serbian police Adem Jashari, his brother and most of his family-members after a tense verbal stand-off, according to Serbian accusations, a shootout took place between Jashari's groupand police with Yugoslav police killing more than sixty people including both Jashari brothers. The only survivor was Besarta Jashari, Hamëz Jashari's daughter.She claimed that the policemen had "threatened her with a knife and ordered her to say that her uncle Adem Jashari had killed everyone who wanted to surrender."
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